How to become a civil engineering technician: Sally's story

I couldn't be behind a desk. Being outdoors all day really suits me.
Sally, 20

In my job

I work on a busy construction site at an airport for a company called Laing O’Rourke. I mark out where walls are to be built and check they are in the right place once they are built. I survey the jobs completed by different tradespeople on the site to make sure they all meet the correct quality standards. I also assist other engineers and the labourers on my team to make sure they have all the information they need to complete the build job.

At school

From a young age I knew I wanted to be an engineer. I was always quite practical, and my Grandpa was a Science teacher so I always had that influence. I chose to do Engineering GCSE and I chose to keep on with the Sciences and Maths.

At college

I did A-levels in Engineering, Geography and Maths and that took me on to my apprenticeship.

In my apprenticeship

I’m working and earning while I am learning. I do one day a week at college and four days at work, so I am getting hands-on, practical experience which breaks it all up nicely. I get support from university teachers, and work are really good - they give me study days if I have big exams coming up.

Top tips

Do work experience and part-time jobs. Just getting out there and giving stuff a go is helpful. I had a couple of weeks of work experience and that massively helped my application to get my current role.

Sally's career path

What to expect if you want to be a civil engineering technician

  • Civil engineering technician salary: Variable ranging from £14,000 to £45,000
  • Civil engineering technician working hours: Average 40 hours per week

What qualifications do you need to be a civil engineering technician?

  • Entry requirements: Usually a Higher National Certificate (HNC), Higher National Diploma (HND) or foundation degree in Civil Engineering or Construction and the Built Environment. You could get into this job through an apprenticeship where you would need five GCSEs or equivalent, or three A-levels or equivalent. Grades accepted can vary depending on universities

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Zuzanna: apprentice wing designer
Amy: Formula 1 engineer
Zoe: apprentice site engineer